- ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES CONTAINING CYPROTERONE INCREASE RISK OF DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS: four times more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis, or venous blood clots, than those taking OCs that contain levonorgestrel. Deep vein thrombosis can cause potentially fatal pulmonary embolism if blood clots travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs. The retrospective case-control study of 24,401 women ages of 16-39, 1992-1999. Of the 26 cases and 144 controls, 14 cases and 114 controls had taken OCs with levonorgestrel, and 12 cases and 30 controls had taken OCs with cyproterone. The analysis also showed that duration of exposure did not affect risk of venous thromboembolism after cyproterone exposure (Lancet, 10/27). Cyproterone is found in “so-called third-generation” birth control pills, which contain more progestin than older versions, such as those that contain levonorgestrel [Research letter, 27Oct01, Vasilakis-Scaramozza/Jick, (Boston Univ School of Medicine) Lancet Reuters Health, 10/26; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Reports, 10/29]
- NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF VASECTOMY research indicates that 2% – 33% of vasectomy patients experience some form of long-term post-vasectomy pain. [Verajankorva, et al, “”Sperm antibodies in rat models of male hormonal contraception and vasectomy”, Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 1999.; Roberts, Is Vasectomy Worth the Risk? Sunshine Sentinel Press, 1993; Sandlow & Kreder, “A change in practice”, Fertility and Sterility, 8/96; Raspa, “Complications of Vasectomy, American Family Physician, 11/93; www.dontfixit.org]
- FDA APPROVES WORLD’S 1st PATCH CONTRACEPTIVE
Ortho-Evra emits through the skin low doses of the same hormones used in birth control pills — but used weekly instead of daily like a pill. But the FDA, in approving the matchbook-sized beige patch, warned that Ortho-Evra may not work as well for women who weigh more than 198 pounds. In clinical trials that gave 3,319 women the patch for varying lengths of time, 15 got pregnant. It will begin selling next year. In studies, about 5 percent of women had at least one patch that slipped off. The patch delivers continuous low levels of estrogen and progestin, the same hormones found in birth control pills, to prevent ovulation. Ortho-Evra users may experience skin irritation at the patch site. [NV; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 21Nov01]
- NONOXYNOL-9 — During the XIII International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa, July 2000, researchers from the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) presented results of a study of a product, COL-1492,* which contains nonoxynol-9 (N-9) (1). N-9 products are licensed for use in the United States as spermicides and are effective in preventing pregnancy, particularly when used with a diaphragm. The study examined the use of COL-1492 as a potential candidate microbicide, or topical compound to prevent the transmission of HIV and STDs. The study found that N-9 did not protect against HIV infection and may have caused more transmission. The women who used N-9 gel became infected with HIV at approx. a 50% higher rate than women who used the placebo gel. CDC has released a “Dear Colleague” letter that summarizes the findings and implications of the UNAIDS study at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv; a hard copy is available from the National Prevention Information Network, telephone (800) 458-5231. Future consultations will be held to re-evaluate guidelines for HIV, STDs, and pregnancy prevention in populations at high risk for HIV infection.
- FAULTY CONDOMS: FDA PROPOSES ‘BLACKLIST’ OF DEFECTIVE CONDOM PRODUCERS — In order to “crack down” on foreign firms that import defective condoms to the U. S., the FDA is considering “blacklisting” repeat offenders. The agency’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health found that “some manufacturers and shippers of condoms consistently fail to provide condoms of adequate quality for distribution in the U.S. Therefore, continuous monitoring of these devices is needed.” [Reuters Health, 8/18; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Report, 8/21/00]
- The Planned Parenthood Condom — In April, PP announced its own condom, “a special latex formulation available in a variety of styles, colors and flavors”. Each condom wrapper (about 25 million are to be distributed in 12 months) has a toll-free number which will connect callers to the nearest PP center to get “reproductive health” info or make an appt. “The Planned Parenthood name tells you its a condom you can trust [sic],” PPFA Gloria Feldt said. PP condoms supposedly meet or surpass FDA requirements and undergo 6 quality assurance tests: air burst, water burst, wet electric, dry electric, aging and vacuum tests.” [ED. but not actual teenager use tests ][Ryan Report, June/July 2001]
- Canada Newspapers praise condoms –The two major dailies in Toronto both praised the arrival of the polyurethane condom to Canadian markets.1 The added benefits of better ‘heat transfer’ & ‘sensitivity’ were noted. Negligently, the reporters failed to mention the major drawbacks, which partly explain the lack of popularity of the condom in the USA since its full scale introduction in 1994. The California Family Health Council performed two studies which showed breakage & slippage rates of polyurethane condoms to be more than six times that of latex condoms. These figures were garnered from adults highly experienced in promiscuous sex & condom use.2 (Figures for teens would undoubtedly be much worse.) Unmentioned were the recognized failure of condoms of any material to stop serious disease such as HPV which causes cervical cancer, and genital herpes which can cause catastrophic injury and death to infants born to infected mothers. [Abstinence Clearinghouse, John R. Diggs, Jr., MD; 1 1Mar01 editions of the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun; 2 Freziere RG, et al. Breakage and Acceptability of a Polyurethane Condom: A Randomized, Controlled Study. Family Planning Perspectives, 30(2). March/April, p 73-78]. [Editor’s Note: The promotion of this old product with its old failures into new markets is a frightening exposure of the lax medical product oversight of Canadian officials.]
- A 1996 “Original Research Article” describes research conducted by Elsevier pharmaceutical company, in Austria, which found that in this non-comparative study, 24 women, over 3 treatment cycles, “No escape ovulation was observed during the treatment phase of the study and there were no pregnancies.” [Contraception, 1996; 54: 299-304, “Inhibition of Ovulation by an Oral Contraceptive Containing 100ug Levonorgestrel in Combination with 20 ug Ethinylestradiol”, by J. Spona, W. Feichtinger, et al]
- Levonorgestrel is a hormone found in some morning-after pills. Major studies, such as Potter* notes that the “failure rate” is about 7 births per year in 100 women who take the Pill (correctly) each year. Of course, these women had to ovulate. [*Potter LA. How effective are contraceptives? The determination and measurement of pregnancy rates. Obstet Gynecol. 1996; 88: 13S-23S.]
- Pharmacists Fired for Pro-Life Stand Gets Legal Victory — OH — a federal court has cleared the way for its lawsuit against Kmart for a pharmacist who was fired for refusing to dispense abortion producing drugs. A federal judge said that a pharmacist may sue her employer under a state conscience law which protects persons who refuse to perform or participate in medical procedures which result in abortion. “This is a major victory for the right
of conscience,” said Manion, of the ACLJ. “As long as abortion is legal in this country, there will be millions of citizens opposed to the practice on ethical and religious grounds. These people deserve legal protection to the fullest extent possible. No one should be forced to choose between their livelihood and their conscience.” In 1996, Kmart fired Karen Brauer, an IN pharmacist, after she refused to dispense Micronor, a progestin-only contraceptive, which prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg. Thus, rather than preventing pregnancy, this type of “contraceptive” may terminate a human life that has already begun. Brauer was fired when she refused to sign an agreement that she would dispense all lawfully prescribed medications regardless of her feelings or beliefs. The court rejected Kmart’s arguments that the legislature did not intend the conscience law to apply to the dispensing of a drug that sometimes prevents implantation. Judge Weber: “What is critical … is the undisputed fact that Micronor prevent[s] implantation of a fertilized egg in some cases and plaintiff’s asserted belief that this process results in abortion and is morally wrong.” [Amer Center for Law and Justice; 23Jan01]
- The FDA is being pressed to approve clinical trials for quinacrine pellets for sterilization (burn the lining of the fallopian tubes). The FDA held hearings in June to make oral contraceptives available over the counter. [MN Physicians for Life Newsletter, 6/00]
- The GIFT Foundation held Pandoras Pillbox 2 Conference in 2000. To order tapes, call 847-844-1167 or www.giftfoundation.org.